In 2022, no wardrobe is complete without at least one – if not more! – of the best polo shirts on the market at your fingertips. They are as laid back and versatile as one T-shirt, only with the addition of a face-framing, respectability-enhancing collar. You can count on them to help you look beautiful in a variety of situations – with shorts on the weekend (think: deep 70s energy) with denim at the bar, with a blazer for an outdoor wedding. And let’s not forget that they are a cornerstone of the most essential dress code of our time, Zoom Casual. Nothing really masks the chaotic energy of your WFH situation like a relatively wrinkle-free polo shirt.
And here’s the best part: You don’t just have to stick with the boring polos you wore when you were younger. Just like you already have with the rest of your wardrobe, get weird! We’re talking unusual colors, vintage details, and yes, oversized—but not Phil Mickelson oversized — proportions. Here are 26 of the best polo shirts for every taste and comfort level to get you acquainted with — or just more heavily into — the casual Friday hall-of-famer.
The legacy-defining polo
No designer has done more to solidify polo’s lineage than Ralph Lauren, the Bronx-born Americana obsessive who has scaled the highest echelons of the schmatte business on the strength of his pristine shirt alone. 50 years after their debut, the brand’s iconic polo shirts (cut from a luxurious cotton fabric, adorned with the now iconic pony on the chest) still set the standard. Today, they come in every color under the sun, but the crisp white OG version helps you create your own legacy – as the smartest chest of drawers around.
No buttons, No Problem Polo
Nothing says “Don’t bother me, I’m busy relaxing” like a shirt that won’t even let you button it all the way up. Mr. P’s – a textured knit number courtesy of the e-retailer’s in-house label – features a design that helps you stand out in a sea of graphic tees and ill-fitting golf shirts.
Sometimes you want wobbly tones and bold graphics and weird fabrics. Sometimes you just need a clean, crisp polo shirt to clean the palette. When the latter mood strikes, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as flawlessly executed as this joint from Sunspel. Part of that just comes down to reps: The English brand has been making premium basics since 1860, and it lays claim to producing some of the first T-shirts ever made. In other words, Sunspel has had more than enough time to nail everything from the soft yet sturdy pique cotton to the flattering tailored fit to the shine of the shell buttons. Like a Burberry trench or a pair of Stan Smiths, it’s simplicity you can count on.
Retro Polo for less
Call it the Ripley effect or simple camp-collar shirt fatigue, but knit polos—especially retro-leaning, striped styles—are everywhere right now. Many of our favorite versions are made by some of the highest quality menswear suppliers in the world (as you can see below), but stepping into the new wave of Italian travel attire doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. Fortunately, Abercombie—a brand that’s been riding a revival wave lately—was the first to jump in on the trend this season, offering their versions of what they call “sweater polos” for around $50 to $70. This particular model is extra casual thanks to its full post design, so you can wear it like a true mid-century smart guy: open, over a tank top and with some snug pants and loafers.
The polo that makes everyone warmer
If you’ve ever wanted to look powerful, like a bigshot CEO on their day off or an A-List actor at a press junket for their new blockbuster action movie, the long-sleeve polo is the one-way ticket you’ve been hoping for. This one from Todd Snyder hits all the right notes: the tasteful peak collar, the knit construction, and the navy color that goes with everything will look even better when you roll up the sleeves to flash your watch. We can’t quite explain it, but everyone just looks their hottest self when sporting a classic long-sleeve polo like this, and we’re not here to argue the data.
The fashion icon Polo
One of the late, great ones Issey Miyake the most enduring style signatures are his calves, which have graced some of the most sought-after pants and even sweatshirts. But nothing evokes Issey’s ultra-modern art-level appeal like the design does in polo form. As a shirt, the style evokes a sense of brutalist architecture and futuristic, flying car utopias. The stretchy fabric doesn’t just look cool as can be – it’s also insanely comfortable, breathable and lightweight, making every other polo in your rotation potentially obsolete.
Links Legend Polo
Speaking of ill fitting golf shirts… this is not one of them. Embrace the sport’s stylish roots with a polo ready to be worn by the joints. Malbon’s cable-knit version boasts the kind of silhouette that will remind you of the days of Nicholson and Palmer, long before poly blends and corporate sponsors made snooty golf style a punchline. Rock it on the court with pleated trousers and traditional lace-ups, or off the court with the same pleated trousers and smart two-tone loafers.